Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Biggest Fan - My Dad

My emotions at the Breast Cancer Marathon weekend were high. The people who I chose to represent and the thousands of others my fellow runners selected, were in the forefront of our minds.

As we lined up awaiting the start, thoughts of my Dad came to mind. It was in December of last year that he passed away. It occurred to me that this would be the first race I have ever run that he would miss. No, in recent years he was unable to attend my races, but he was my biggest fan. He enjoyed the stories about the races, loved getting pictures and always inquired about my running group. He kept up on who was going to which race and who was injured. I learned from several people at his wake that he quite often spoke of my accomplishments.

Several years ago, I reunited with a group of high school friends. We were all members of our track team. One of my friends commented to me that he remembered how my Dad would attend our track meets. He continued saying how he wished his father could have seen him compete. As with many things kids don't understand, I didn't realize the importance of his presence until many years later.

It has been difficult in the weeks following the race. There was no phone call to tell him of my accomplishment, nor photos to mail for a spot in his living room. Yes, he saw the race. His hand guided me and kept me safe.

Thanks Dad for all you did for me.


ShirleyPerly said...

Jim, this was a really nice post about your dad. I'm not sure my dad would have been proud about my running achievements as sports never had much value in my family but I have a lot to be thankful for that he did too. Thanks for reminding me.

Robert said...

Nice post.

Runner's Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, Grandpa was proud of his family! Really nice post!

Daria said...

Jim, beautiful brought tears to my eyes.Somehow, I can see our dads gathered in heaven watching us run and cheering us on. Thanks dads, we love you.

Donna N. said...

Oh my gosh Jim. I just got around to reading this. That was just so beautiful. I know that emptiness all too well. But you are right, he did guide you, safely and swiftly. He'll always be at your finish lines my friend.